Ever have this happen to you?
You're walking through the grocery store, just trying to find the toilet paper aisle (and maybe grab a bag of Doritos on your way out), when someone rams their shopping cart right into your side. The impact isn't painful at all, but just noticeable enough to warrant some type of response to address the situation. Naturally, you shoot a quick "sorry!" and the two of you promptly part ways.
Seem familiar? Yeah? Seem wrong or inappropriate in any way? Yep.
Everyday people (myself included) find themselves apologizing for things done to them, things they're not responsible for. "Oh, you elbowed me in the stomach? Sorry about that."
Despite a response like this being pretty common in today's society, it's completely unjustified and, frankly, unhealthy.
Logically, apologizing for someone else's mistake doesn't make much sense. It isn't your fault someone bumped into you, and it's really their job to rectify the incident. Yet, "sorry" has become an automatic response.
It's not that we're genuinely apologetic about what happened, as I'm sure most of the time we're either a little ticked off by the situation, or we don't really give a crap that it happened to begin with. Instead, we use "sorry" to make situations less tense or awkward.
No matter how much of a reflex it is, we use "sorry" to make others feel comfortable, despite how much it disregards our own comfort and self-respect.
It's one thing to apologize for someone bumping into you at the supermarket as if you're the burden. But sometimes "sorry" is an indication of something much more serious than that. I'm talking about apologizing for simply being yourself.
Sometimes we use "sorry" as if our existence is an inconvenience to those around us. When you find a joke or a YouTube video really funny and start laughing like a monster fresh out of the cave (as we all do), you don't need to say sorry. You don't need to apologize for the bands that make you excited nor the things that make you upset:
"Sorry, but that really hurt my feelings."
Use "sorry" when you actually mean it, and not as a response to an uncomfortable situation. And if you're apologizing for being alive, showing your face and speaking whenever you want, think twice.
Don't sacrifice respect for yourself in order to make someone else happy. You have a right to be here. Be here as loudly and as honestly as you want.